VIS­AGE COU­TURE

Fash­ion di­rec­tor KIM BUI KOL­LAR dis­cov­ers the magic of Bi­ologique Recherche’s new sk­in­care pro­gramme

#Legend - - BEAUTY -

LET ME BE­GIN by say­ing that I’m not a beauty ed­i­tor. I am, how­ever, a woman who cares very much about her skin and will try ev­ery­thing on the quest for that elu­sive glow. I need to also pref­ace this by stat­ing that though I have spent a for­tune (I hope my hus­band isn’t read­ing this!) on this jour­ney, I’ve never be­lieved in “pro­grammes”. To me, they were just a way for brands to sell me more prod­uct from the line. Maybe it’s be­cause I never found some­thing that de­liv­ered on its prom­ises, or per­haps the science of the par­tic­u­lar prod­uct wasn’t right for my skin.

Why, then, is the fash­ion di­rec­tor writ­ing about sk­in­care? Be­cause this one is amaz­ing – and I thought I would share. My mind was re­cently changed – by Bi­ologique Recherche.

For those who re­ally take their skin se­ri­ously, Bi­ologique Recherche has a new Haute Cou­ture pro­gramme. Imag­ine that amaz­ing feel­ing that comes with cou­ture fash­ion, but in sk­in­care. A bit of his­tory: the brand was started by Yvan and Josette Al­louche (a bi­ol­o­gist and phys­io­ther­a­pist, re­spec­tively) 40 years ago as a lab­o­ra­tory for re­search and de­vel­op­ment. Their son, Dr Philippe Al­louche, took an ad­di­tional in­ter­est in skin health, and has helped to make the pro­gramme rel­e­vant for to­day’s needs and life­styles. He sees the skin as an or­gan that is con­nected to our other or­gans and our over­all health.

The brand’s phi­los­o­phy fun­da­men­tals are:

1) A per­son does not have only one, but sev­eral skins. Our skin, and the dif­fer­ent ar­eas of our skin, changes all the time – due to cli­mate, pol­lu­tants, travel, stress, age and hor­mones. The idea of cat­e­goris­ing our der­mis as “nor­mal, dry or oily” doesn’t give a truly ac­cu­rate read of our skin’s prop­er­ties and cur­rent state. When the skin isn’t an­a­lysed cor­rectly, treat­ment can lead to prob­lems that didn’t ex­ist be­fore.

Each per­son that comes in for a vis­i­ta­tion gets a full eval­u­a­tion in or­der to get the most ap­pro­pri­ate prod­ucts for their skin. There’s a spe­cial ma­chine that mea­sures the skin’s hy­dra­tion and se­bum ra­tios, trans-epi­der­mal wa­ter loss, elas­tic­ity, firm­ness, me­lanin ra­tio and the depth of wrin­kles (by tak­ing sil­i­con prints). All of th­ese fac­tors are tested on dif­fer­ent parts of the face. Th­ese are all very tech­ni­cal as­pects to skin that cer­tainly aren’t con­sid­ered over the counter at a depart­ment store.

2) “Ini­ti­at­ing” the skin is cru­cial. This is where the epi­der­mis is to­tally cleansed, its pH is bal­anced, it’s gen­tly ex­fo­li­ated and its pro­te­oli­pidic film is re­moved. This is where the Bi­ologique Recherche Lo­tion P50 is in­tro­duced. The cleansers are great, but P50 is in a class of its own. A bal­anc­ing ex­fo­lia­tor with a vine­gar-like scent, it speeds up the nat­u­ral ex­fo­li­a­tion process of the epi­der­mis and the re­con­struc­tion of the epi­der­mal shield. This ba­si­cally makes the skin ready to ac­cept help, treat­ment and care. (In­sert the “hal­lelu­jah” emoji here.) 3) “Bal­ance, hy­drate, re­vi­talise” – it’s all part of the treat­ment phase. There is a range of serums and creams that are all botan­i­cal, bi­o­log­i­cal (read: pla­centa) and ma­rine ex­tracts. There’s also a mag­i­cal con­trap­tion called the “re­mod­elling face” ma­chine, which ad­min­is­ters bio-elec­trother­apy. Gal­vanised cur­rents are run along the con­tours of the face to help the in­gre­di­ents mi­grate through the cells and “ex­er­cise” the face. There’s a slight taste of metal when this treat­ment is ad­min­is­tered – a sign that it’s work­ing, I hope.

Spe­cific to the Haute Cou­ture pro­gramme, an ob­jec­tive anal­y­sis is made by Dr Philippe Al­louche in his lab and a per­son­alised formula of prod­ucts is pre­scribed for six-month us­age. Each month, a pack of two creams and three to eight serums is pre­pared. The first month focuses on skin bal­anc­ing, while the sec­ond month is where the per­son­alised for­mu­las start to get used with gen­tle ap­pli­ca­tion. Months three to five are where a stronger formula is im­ple­mented to get the op­ti­mal skin ra­di­ance goal. And month six is to sta­bilise and main­tain skin utopia. The skin is mon­i­tored monthly or bi­monthly.

I tried to probe, but wasn’t able to get much of a re­veal in terms of the main in­gre­di­ents of the prod­ucts. This sk­in­care pro­gramme doesn’t smell the nicest – which to me im­plies pure science and that it isn’t masked by artificial scents. All I know is that I was a smoker (I hope my mom isn’t read­ing this!) and one who loves the sun, and when I gave into the “pro­gramme” a year ago, the qual­ity of my skin was no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent. There was a con­sis­tency to the tex­ture and the lit­tle lines dis­ap­peared from the true hy­dra­tion. I haven’t been ag­gres­sive in want­ing to even out my sun spots, but I sup­pose that’s what the haute cou­ture pro­gramme is for.

And great news: there’s no need to travel all the way to Paris for Bi­ologique Recherche treat­ments. The Hong Kong flag­ship is lo­cated in Tsim Sha Tsui; the Four Sea­sons Spa is also trained to use the brand’s prod­ucts.

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